Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Passing notes

Kendall wrote notes to me during Sacrament Meeting.  I couldn't resist .... I had to write back!

Here is a sample of one of the notes we passed back and forth.


are you going to buy a tramp   i'm so happy for next year geus (guess) why

Why do we need a trampoline?
What if you don't use it?
Why are you happy for next year?  Because you will be 8 and baptised?

sow we can have fun.  I will play with it.  Cause you will be in the office.  No.
(heart) Kendall.

So cute!  The past two years I have worked in his school during lunch - no more than 4 hours each day.  I LOVE seeing him each day.  Last year Kerst would give me a hug each day.  Over the past several months I have felt like it was time to do something different - after all, I do have my elementary education degree!  A position in the front office opened up as Health Assistant (mommy medicine).  I applied.  I got the job!  It is perfect.  I work the same hours Kendall is at school.  No need for daycare (which is why lunchtime help was perfect!).  This is even better!  I will be working with some amazing ladies!

Oh ... and today was my last day!  Let summer begin!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

His name sake

We call him RIV.  He is my sweet nephew.

He is named after his Dad (my brother) who is named after his Dad (my Dad) who is named after his Dad (my Papa).

Richard Sr.
Richard Jr.
Richard the 3rd.
Richard the 4th.  IV.  RIV.

RIV is saying goodbye to Grandpa.  The first.  Richard Sr.

It has hit me now (again).

We will be honoring him this coming Saturday at his memorial service.  What an honor that will be.

I miss him.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Papa

My dear grandpa "Papa" passed away this morning. 

He and Grandma are one of my first childhood memories - and my fondest memories of childhood. 

As I became an adult, I realized that they took their 3 week vacations from work to visit me and my siblings in Kansas. 

Grandpa - I will miss your harmonica playing, your love of music (which was shared with Julia), how you spoke in a New England accent (roof or ruff, battery or battreee), singing in our ward choir when you would come and visit, showing us your war wounds from shrapnel, watching you meticulously care for your teeth, attending the veteran's day celebrations at my kids' elementary school, sleepovers at our home, long walks and holding your hand. I will remember your tender tears that streamed down your face as we surprised you with a visit after we moved. You kept telling me through those tears that you thought we would never come back. I will cherish the 8 years we lived close by for my children to experience how amazing their great grandma and grandpa are. You showered me with love. 

Physically you are not here, but I know you will never leave us.

I'm grateful that families are eternal. I'm grateful that you are my Papa forever.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Seminary Graduation - Jenna's talk

Jenna was asked to speak at our Stake's Seminary Graduation.

Here is her talk:

Brother L called and asked me if I would speak at Seminary Graduation on what I learned in my four years of Seminary.  When I asked him how long I needed to talk, he told me thirty minutes.

I have a sense of humor too.

What I learned from attending early morning seminary.

I learned how to hit the snooze button and eventually I learned to ignore my alarm completely.  My sister and my Dad can attest to that.

I learned how to sleep with my eyes opened – like the bishopric does on Sunday.

I counted the tiles on the ceiling.  I never made it past 15.

Seriously, all humor set aside, I really did learn and grow during the last four years.
What did I learn?

I learned about dedication in Seminary.  I saw this in my teachers who were like superman and superwoman.  They have a day job – like Clark Kent.  They also save our day and start it off right when they come and teach our classes.  I see dedication in my sister, Jaley.  She is always ready to go 20 minutes before we need to leave.  There is Jaley standard time, Mormon Standard Time and Jenna Standard Time (my teachers will know what that is).

I learned that Seminary is a Holy Place, a holy moment.  Sis. Ann Dibb gave a talk at the recent General Young Women’s Conference about not only creating a holy place, but holy moments.  Holy moments were created each morning that started and ended with a prayer.  It was up to us as student to be a part of the holy moment.  I felt this holy place many times last year after being a passenger in a serious car accident.  I was in a wheelchair for three months.  In the seminary room I felt loved, welcomed and accepted as I dealt with maneuvering a wheelchair and recovering from multiple surgeries.  I was in a Holy Place and lifted up and prepared to face difficult days during this time.

I learned that Angels do watch over us.  I know our Heavenly Father watches and protects us.  He knows the desires of our hearts.  He guides and protects us.  OK - Mom and Dad, cover your ears.  There were several occasions that the only way we arrived to seminary in one piece is because we were watched over and protected as we drove on hazardous roads during the winter.

Seminary prepared me to share the gospel.  In Seminary, I had daily reminders of who I am and who I represent.  I had friends ask me why I was at school early (or on time).  I've had the opportunity to have gospel discussions with several friends.  I currently have a friend constantly asking me questions about my beliefs.   I’m grateful for the teachings I've had in my home, at church and seminary.  It has given me the confidence to answer their questions.

Because of Seminary I learned that I can do hard things.  Waking up early is hard.  Studies have shown that teenagers need their sleep.  Teenagers also need to study.  Teenagers also need to socialize – and eat.  All of this has to be done in a 24 hour period.  When we really try, we find the strength to do it all.  This past fall when I was finally able to walk and return to normal activity, I had to work extra hard to get back into shape for high school swimming.  I started out swimming 1 hour after school and built up to 2 ½ hours.  I then started getting up at 4:00 in the morning to swim for an hour and a half before seminary.  I still did my 2 ½ hours afternoon work outs.  I learned I can do hard things.  So can you.

I learned that Seminary is preparing me for college.  My older sister, Julia, noticed that she was able to attend 8:00 in the morning classes compared to other students who did not do early morning seminary.  It has taught me that this daily morning ritual of feeling the spirit needs to carry over into the next phase of my life.

I learned that I have a second family in Seminary.  Our senior class was not an easy group.  The freshmen class acted older than we did.  At the beginning of the year, my seminary class had many cliques.  Thanks to my amazing seminary teacher, Sis. S, she dissolved these cliques and created an amazing tight knit family.  She did this by including everyone in class discussions, having us prepare daily devotionals, not giving up on us and by teaching with the spirit.  She saw something in us that we didn’t.  She worked hard to break down what we were and created something that will last forever.   She created our Seminary Family. 

So – to the Freshman.  You survived.  1 down.  3 to go.
To the Sophomores.  You are half way through.
To the Juniors – act older than the freshmen.
To my parents – you survived 6 years so far.  Here’s to 11 more.
To the Seniors – we did it!  But it’s not over.  I’ll see you in institute this summer.  Thankfully they meet at night.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Swedish Fish

Kendall was looking at Jaley's box of Swedish Fish candies.

"Why are these called Swedish Fish?"

"I am not sure.   That's a good question."

"These should not be called Swedish Fish."


"Because they are sweet.   They should be called Sweet Fish because they are more than just sweet-ish."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Last Day

Today was Jenna's last day of high school forever

One of my favorite memories of Jenna in elementary school: Every Friday she wore her striped shirt that had every color imaginable. I didn't know why she insisted on wearing this shirt every Friday until I asked. In gym they played "Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam, may I cross your river dam." The person who is Uncle Sam would list off a color. If you were wearing it, you could walk across to safety. If you weren't, you were chased. If caught you were part of the group to chase those not wearing the right color.   

Smart girl. She figured out how to beat the system. 

Now ... to beat college .... 

hint: you have to study :) 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dear Jenna

Our message to Jenna in her yearbook in the senior pages

You are sharing, content, fun-loving, humorous, low maintenance and positive – even while you were in a wheelchair for 3+ months. Surely the rest of the world now knows of your amazing qualities; We have always known.
Love Mom and Dad

Her last day of high school is tomorrow - Thursday.  Weird.  Just yesterday she was in Kindergarten.

Follow the directions

"Good thing I can read and follow directions."


"Because this Danimals (drinkable yogurt) says 'shake, open, drink'.   Imagine what would happen if I open, shake and then drink."

He makes me laugh.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I woke to this for Mother's Day.

Best. Gift. Ever.

Thanks Jaley!  You made my day!


(She stayed up until 1:00 in the morning detailing everything and then cleaning the dreaded pencil drawer)

Monday, May 13, 2013


There are different documents floating around the internet proving the birthplace of a certain individual.

I have proof.  Liable proof.  Proof of my age.  He came up with this all on his own last year.  He's starting to question the math of my age...

Kendall created this family tree at school.  Next to each name he put our ages.

I'm 20.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Because of them ....

I have the greatest and most rewarding job on earth.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Teacher appreciation - take two

Two years ago we celebrated Mrs. D when Julia graduated.  Julia selected her as an influential teacher that helped mold her into who she has become and who she wants to be.

Surprise, surprise.  Mrs. D is once again someone who is very influential.  Jenna selected her to be honored at our teacher appreciation night.  It is a big deal.

And once again, the personalities of student and teacher come out ... and her plaques are very coveted by other teachers in the building.  If only every student were as cool as hers!

A picture is taken at the beginning of the evening, printed and attached to the plaque just in time to be recognized.

Here are Jenna's pictures with Mrs. D.   A dear friend, President Clark W, approached us at the end of the evening and said that he loved how the personality of Jenna (and her teacher) were exhibited in the picture.  He loves Jenna's personality.  We all do!

Mrs. D and Jenna - the picture used in the plaque

Having fun ... 

We just love Mrs. D!  Thank you for being such an amazing teacher, role model and friend.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Kerst's tutor

Kerst was tired of doing his IXL (on-line math progress tracking program).   Last night he started listing 
off parts of the problems while Kendall was getting ready for bed.

"What is 27 x 3?"

I started saying "Think of it as 25 times 3 and an additional 6"

Kendall piped in "It is 40 plus 20 plus 21"

"What?" I asked.

"Yeah, it is 60 plus 21, so it is 81" 

All in a matter of under 10 seconds.

I can see what he did.   He learned in school that 27 is 20 and 7.   He is also learning
multiplication.   He likes to ask us random multiplication facts of larger numbers.   He must 
have gleaned from that exercise that 3 20's is 60 and that 3 7's is 21.

Smarty pants.  He's only 6!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day!

Today is May Day.  May 1st.

This is what it has been doing ALL day.  It does not feel like May.  It does not feel like spring.

Kendall hit the nail on the head when he asked, "Is today May Fool's Day?"

Yes, yes it must be.

The view from out my front window.